Consumers Association of Penang

Giving voice to the little people...since 1970

What is trade justice?

The right to choose trade policies

Poor people have the right to benefit from trade. Poor countries must be able to choose economic policies, including trade policies that work to reduce poverty. They need the freedom to help support and protect their vulnerable enterprises and traders in the most appropriate way. These policies should not be based on the `advice' of the rich. They should be decided by the communities affected, based on evidence and experience and suited to the local context.

This is Trade justice - governments choosing and designing their own trade policies to reduce poverty.

What’s wrong with trade?

We live in a world of outrageous inequality, with millions of people trapped in poverty. More than anything else it is the institutions, conditions, rules and practices of international trade that keep poor people poor.

It is now more important than ever that this situation be transformed.

The facts and arguments below will show you the ill effects of trade to those in the developing countries.

Restrictive trade practices in a free market

We practice a free market system, but how free and competitive is it?

So what if the industries are dominated by a few players? What is wrong with that?

When there is less competition, the players in the market will be able to dominate it and fix high prices for their goods and services. It works to the company's advantage that there is no or very little competition. Where there is competition the companies may act to get rid of rivals. They may work among themselves to fix prices or divide the market among themselves to keep out competitors.

Utilitarian Free Trade killed millions in China and India

According to a briefing paper by a UK advocacy group, nearly 50 million people in India and China died at the end of the 19th century as a result of these countries being forcibly incorporated into the economic and political structures of the modern world system of that era.

The sorry state of Orang Asli health

The recent disclosures made by Dr. Selva Vathany Pillai concerning malpractice and the misappropriation of resources by hospital authorities at the Gombak Hospital, brings into stark focus, the social and health status of this community.

The Orang Asli, (aboriginal peoples), who are the most marginalised community in the country continue to suffer the loss of their lands through resettlement, logging, mining, dam construction, golf course development, plantation schemes, regroupment and assimilation into mainstream society.